FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
Ms. Lorraine R.
The staff of
the Freedom of Information Advisory Council is authorized
to issue advisory opinions. The ensuing staff advisory opinion
is based solely upon the information presented in your e-mail
of February 1, 2001.
Dear Ms. Phinney:
You have asked whether
you may obtain information relating to the qualifications
of a public official under the Virginia Freedom of Information
Act (FOIA). Specifically, you would like to access information
about an attorney for the Commonwealth concerning his background
and qualifications as a prosecutor.
Subsection A of
§ 2.1-342 of the Code of Virginia states that unless specifically
provided by law, all public records shall be open to inspection
and copying by any citizens of the Commonwealth. Section
2.1-342.01 sets forth a series of exemptions from FOIA for
specific types of records. Subdivision A. 4. of § 2.1-342.01
exempts [p]ersonnel records containing information concerning
identifiable individuals. The Attorney General of Virginia
has interpreted this exemption to include professional qualifications.
The information that you wish to access relates to the attorney
for the Commonwealth's professional qualifications, and thus
may be properly withheld pursuant to the personnel records
Thank you for contacting
this office. I hope that I have been of assistance.
Maria J.K. Everett